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  • The slew of "Romance" videos, produced roughly five years ago by leading porn labels such as Adam & Eve, Wicked and Digital Sin, are a bright light shining in the dim twilight of contemporary Adult Entertainment, an industry that has since been entirely subsumed not by evil Sauron but by the spirit of Gonzo. One "Annabelle Black" (misspelled as Annaebelle in the credits on-screen) created this sub-standard series for Adam & Eve, and it's tough to watch.

    The camera has HD inscribed on it per the BTS short subject, but the visuals are strictly low-definition, even blurry at times as a result of soft focus or whatever from d.p. David Lord. In the BTS material on the DVD Lord appears to be calling all the shots rather than credited auteur Black so he should get the lion's share of the blame for the crappy result.

    The five vignettes certainly feature five alluring females, but so do a million gonzo videos or streaming content entities. Where Black & Lord fail completely is in the supposedly romantic set-ups for each vignette. There are no characterizations here whatsoever, no written dialog and merely slowly paced preliminaries (let's call it "foreplay" though that is an insult to the term foreplay) before XXX content occurs.

    Derrick Pierce drips candle wax on Katie Kox's back (it would take hours to cover her front, as Kox easily wins breast in show with mammoth natural-looking mammaries on her plump frame); Carolyn Reese is interrupted reading a random romance novel by lover Eric Swiss who, apparently having had his head freshly shaved, is anxious to get down to serious humping; Mercedez poses for the camera in slow-motion after getting out of her swimming pool and then masturbates with a glass dildo before the audience letdown of perfunctory sex with Ray Balboa; Kiara smooches Rocco Reed before he puts product-placement (all the clothing and other stuff on-screen is just to shill for Adam & Eve's ancillary sales) red blindfold on her and tickles her with a feather; overly talkative Dale Dabone lays some meaningless patter on Riley Evans before (and while) doing her in the kitchen.

    Perhaps I've made those liaisons sound moderately interesting in the above summary, but they aren't. For all the kowtowing to the concept of "romance", it is sad to report that most of these couples features made by Penthouse, Vivid and the above-named distributors are ultimately boring and cumulatively killed off a promising genre. I enjoy watching them nonetheless as they are intrinsically superior to the idiotic spectacles of 3 or 4 hours of wall-to-wall gonzo sex that current audiences are being subjected to.

    Just as young people have no notion of the superiority of motion picture film (35mm) to HDV digital video (I see many pros who actually prefer the cheap modern approach and even try to defend it aesthetically), a generation or two of Adult Entertainment fans are no longer in touch or even in shouting distance from the glories of the '70s onward Golden Age when we watched interesting films in theaters. The splices, scratches, flickering lamps and hair/dirt in the projector gate were a small price to pay for better quality content.